Frederick Douglass

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them..." Frederick Douglass

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's next at Verizon?

Obama Widening War In Somalia

Howler O' The Day, 31 August: Bank of America Gets Buffetted

The bank has clearly explained to investors and regulators how it will reach compliance with the new rules ahead of schedule, he added. The Buffett opportunity was too good to pass up, Mr. Dubrowski said: "There's only one Warren Buffett. We are very happy to have him, but it wasn't driven by capital."

Not about capital? Now that is just hysterical.

More Assassinations and Bloodshed in Honduras Land Occupation

Capitalism is lethal.

Jan Lokpal Bill Is Very Regressive: Arundhati Roy


There's Nothing Like The Face Of A Kid Slaving In A Cocoa Grove Update, 31 August

Hershey Strikers Say Solidarity is the Best Cultural Exchange

“I never imagined when I came to the United States that I would go to some labor meeting and get involved in the labor movement, but Hershey forced us to become part of the labor movement,” said Godwin Efobi, from Nigeria, who is studying medicine in Odessa, Ukraine. “The solidarity and support from Americans has truly been incredible. In a roundabout way this is the best cultural exchange we could have had."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Photo O' The Day Runner-up, 30 August

Photo O' The Day, 30 August, From The Protests In South Africa

South Africa Update, 30 August

SAMWU, the municipal workers' union, has called off the strike. Much like the Verizon work stoppage in the US, this action enjoyed wide popular support. Yet like its American counterpart, the union leadership called off the strike saying it was continuing its negotiations with management.

The workers initially asked for an 18pc increase, but recently dropped it to ten. Predictably, this too was rejected.

Samwu dropped its pay increase demand from 18 percent to 10 percent last week.

“The demand is unrealistic. It can bankrupt our municipalities.”

Mthethwa said the impasse which developed in the negotiations was of concern, saying that the time spent in the bargaining chamber means time away from servicing communities.

The strike has become violent. South Africa is a seething, and just about any protest is enough to release some of the growing anger toward Jacob Zuma and his despised ANC government. Whether the violence is the work of the strikers or the government's undercover goons is not known, but people have been hurt and property damaged.

Municipal Strike No Longer Fun and Games as Violence Increases

Possible strike related criminal activities took place last night when properties of municipal staff were petrol bombed during the early hours of this morning.
In Seyisi Street KwaZakhele an attempt was made to petrol bomb a house at 02:29 but it was unsuccessful. Unfortunately another employee’s Toyota Conquest was completely destroyed a minute later in Siwa Street, also in KwaZakhele when the bomb ignited.

Homes bombed as strike turns ugly

The prolonged strike by municipal workers in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro took an ugly turn after properties of non-striking workers were petrol-bombed at the weekend.

Two incidents of arson attacks were confirmed by municipal spokesperson Kupido Baron who likened these to “criminal acts”.

“Possible strike-related criminal activities took place last Friday when properties of municipal staff were attacked with petrol bombs,” he said.

One incident involved an attack on the house of a worker in Kwazakhele township who had not joined the strike.

In an absolutely shocking development, the courts in SA have sided with the state and against the workers, just as they had in the Verizon strike and in every other since the dawn of capitalism.

“Striking workers, however, have been served with a court interdict which says that essential service workers have to return to work.”
The municipality of eThekwini has obtained a court edict to declare the strike illegal. Mbombela local municipality in Mpumalanga has taken similar action.
Acting municipal manager in Mpumalanga Norah Mthembu warned that copies of the ruling had been distributed to police stations. Workers now faced arrest, she said, if they entered any council premises.
These court rulings are a clear attempt to prevent legitimate public protests. The fact that councils have resorted to them indicates the potential for the municipal workers’ dispute to spread more widely.
Their dispute has the potential to widen the struggle and to involve the townships, drawing in the majority of non-unionised workers who make a living in the informal sector.
Last year, public sector workers clashed repeatedly with police. They faced assaults with water cannon, stun grenades and rubber bullets. The press vilified them as “murderers”.

Not all the workers are happy with the union leadership.

A regular WSWS reader attempted to find out more about the SAMWU dispute and what the union is doing on behalf of its members. Below are his comments:
“Since Monday 15 August 2011, I have attempted to contact SAMWU officials; via telephone and email in order to determine the location of the SAMWU picket lines. The telephone was not answered, despite numerous attempts. The emails were not responded to. The SAMWU web site has provided no information about the picket lines.
“From the media reports it appears that in KwaZulu Natal the picket lines were not successful due to ‘cold weather’.

Cold indeed.

In addition to the strike another controversy has South Africans in an uproar. The ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema, is facing a disciplinary hearing wherein he is charged with bring the ruling ANC party into disrepute.

The trouble started when Malema called for regime change in neighboring Botswana. This occurred after that country's large public service union strike was beaten down by President Khama. Malema's remarks were an embarrassment to the ANC's and SA's head, Jacob Zuma, who is personally and politically aligned with Khama.

Zuma followed the widely unpopular Thabo Mbeki, whom he defeated in an ugly election campaign. Zuma ran, much like Barack Obama in the US, on a platform of change. Unfortunately for the people of SA, Zuma, again like Obama, has reneged on just about every promise. Malema, like most of his generation, had been an ardent supporter of the presidential challenger, but has since become quite disillusioned. As Zuma's popularity has plunged, Malema's has risen to the point where the youth leaders is now Zuma's greatest rival. So the stakes are high in this ongoing hearing, for both men, and for SA.

The calls for regime change in Botswana are pretext, at issue is who will rule, and how. Malema's popularity rests on his militancy, and more particularly on his call for nationalizing SA's lucrative mineral wealth.

Malema also refused to budge on his calls for mining nationalisation, a position that has spooked foreign investors and brought warnings of international financial isolation. He said: "Nationalism will never change. Expropriation without compensation will never change. Whether you expel us or don't expel us, these resolutions will never change."

So protests, sometimes violent, are going on outside the hearing where SA's future is being decided, just about all of it in support of Malema.

But ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu called the burning of President Zuma's T-shirts, party flags, and posters "totally unacceptable," "wanton acts of criminality," and "hooliganism." The scenes outside the ANC headquarters, he added, were perpetrated by an unruly mob of people claiming to be “ANC Youth League members.”

In this protest, oddly enough, it is the police who have set up the barricades.

Protesters chanting “Zuma must go!” also burned T-shirts and posters bearing the president’s portrait, according to Internet postings by South African news services in Johannesburg. The police erected razor wire barricades while a police helicopter hovered. At least one officer was wounded by a flying brick, a police spokesman said, and a South African news channel said one of its television crews was attacked near the party headquarters, Luthuli House.

It appears that Zuma is on his last legs. Good riddance.

"Zuma must go!" protesters chanted, setting ablaze party flags and T-shirts bearing Zuma's image. Their actions reflected anger at the disciplining of Malema and general disappointment that the South African leader has failed to fulfill election promises to robustly confront the economic powerhouses' growing inequality and poverty, marked by massive unemployment among young people.

Warren Buffet's Odisha Land Grab Update, 30 August

Good piece about Buffet's POSCO.

New York State workers speak out against concessions contracts

The governors of New York and Connecticut, seconded by the big business media, hailed the concession agreements as a triumph of “cooperation” with the unions. In contrast, all the workers we spoke with expressed opposition to the contracts and anger toward the unions for accepting drastic cuts in wages and benefits.

Sham Alert: Democrats and Workers Come Out in Support of New NLRB Union Election Rules

Nothing but window dressing here. Obummer is getting a ton of money from his bosses on Wall Street for his re-election campaign, there's no way his NLRB will do anything to undermine his financing.

Summer months heat up West Papua conflict

Asking Rudd for help was a bit silly. He's not the solution, but part of the problem.

Chile: a generation has lost its fear

The myth of Gaddafi the radical

Good piece.

Rise of Another CIA Yes Man

Nice piece.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Propaganda Alert: Israel says Gaza gets arms from Libya

The Lockerbie bomber I know

There is, though, another view that is shared by many who have scrutinised the Lockerbie case. They hold that the true scandal was not Megrahi's release, but his 2001 conviction. The Justice for Megrahi campaign, founded in 2008, counts among its signatories Dr Jim Swire and Rev John Mosey, each of whom lost a daughter in the bombing, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien. Another signatory, Scottish QC Ian Hamilton, last year blogged: "I don't think there's a lawyer in Scotland who now believes Mr Megrahi was justly convicted."

I go further than those lawyers: I am as certain as I can be that Megrahi is innocent. For three years until his return to Libya I worked as a researcher alongside his legal team and since then have been writing a book with him. I have read all his case files and have visited him many times, both in prison and in Tripoli. I'm one of a handful of people familiar with both the man and the evidence that convicted him.

Amen! If interested in the Lockerbie farce, you might find my article and its links useful as an introduction:

Unseen face of the Libyan conflict

There are lies, more lies and then there is the media. Take the BBC, for instance. As Britain’s national state broadcaster, it is duty bound to provide impartial news coverage — after all, it is the ordinary person who funds it. However, the question to be asked is why folk should pay for a ‘service’ that consistently misleads in order to secure compliance for state-corporate policies?

Libyan Massacres

NTC Admits That the Fall of Tripoli Video Was A Fake?

Bolivia: A Week At the Barricades

Nice piece.

It’s been a busy week in Bolivia, with major mobilizations by indigenous peoples in the Amazon, civic groups in Potosí, and neighborhood organizations in El Alto. Despite the government’s allegations of conspiracy, what’s striking about these protests is the diversity of their protagonists and agendas, and the shifting alignment of interests coalescing around each set of issues.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Should Banks Be Public Utilities?

Yes! This alone will not be sufficient to save capitalism, let alone create a more democratic economic system, but there is no hope as long as the supply of money and credit is in the hands of private individuals who seek to profit from their issuance.

Tom Ferguson: The English Riots – Just Meaningless Sound and Fury?

Great criticism by the author of the hopelessly self-important Zizek. And equally cogent criticism of the author by the commentariat (particularly the first).

Revolution is a Potluck by Cindy Sheehan: WE ARE OUR ONLY CHANCE!


Back to School’s First Question: Why Have School?

Judge orders CMU faculty to end strike

You won't evict this grandma

Remembering Steve Jobs’ Record on Workers’ Rights

Yesterday, Twitter was abuzz with reactions to Steve Jobs’ resignation as CEO of Apple, among reports that his health is in bad condition. Progressives and conservatives alike praised Jobs as someone who had revolutionized industry with Apple’s innovative computer designs. “Thanks Steve for pushing for designs that have humans at the center,” blogger Ario Jafarzadeh tweeted.

While Jobs’ designs for computers may have put humans at their center, working conditions for Apple’s workers put profits at their center. Jobs did indeed revolutionize the computer industry, but in a way that was negative for American workers, who for decades have seen manufacturing job prospects dwindle as jobs go to workers overseas, who in turn often labor in brutal sweatshop conditions.

Join Nurses’ Demos to Tax Wall Street to Help Main Street

Voices are calling from the other side of the sea

The Wages of Destroying Labor Bargaining Power: Nearly 30% of Job Losses Due to Management Cutting Pie in Favor of Capital

Israel: The Exclusive Revolution

Great piece.

Buffett's one-day win on Bank of America: $357 million

Learn more about Nato and its wars

Poisoned Chinese Workers Demand Action from Apple CEO Successor

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A child blamed for her rape

It's unbelievable.

Continuing Wisconsin Protests Lead to Arrests

Friday, August 26, 2011

George Carlin - We Like War

Bolivia's president accuses US of sparking protest

What a disappointment Morales has been. Now he's telling desperate lies to stay in power while he betrays the people who voted for him.

The Destructive Power of the Financial Markets

Good piece from an unlikely source.,1518,781590,00.html

Quote O' The Day, 26 August

When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.

Peter O'Toole's character in my favorite comedy, The Ruling Class.

Warren Buffet: "A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing"

Nice piece.

Obama Goes All Out For Dirty Banker Deal

Propaganda Alert: Behind closed doors: The bewildering dance between Gaddafi and MI6

There's not a word of truth in this mess. Corera isn't an "ex" agent, Britain's relationship with Gaddafi goes back much farther than indicated, and Moussa Koussa has been a British asset all along.

This is a cover story probably issued because they really don't know where their former ally Gaddafi is.

For a brief review of Gaddafi's relationship to the West, this article by yours truly might be helpful:

CIA agent wins $2.8 billion lawsuit against Cuba

One billion USD awarded for causing a suicide. Has this ever happened before?

Read more

Bolivia: Morales Clashes with Native Protesters over Road through Tropical Park

All governments may not be equally bad, but they are all bad. Here we have an indigenous president in Bolivia breaking the law to screw his fellow indigenous.

He may (or may not) have good intentions, but what difference does it make?

Voltaire Network denounces the attempt by the "rebels" to arrest Thierry Meyssan

Verizon strike highlights need for new workers’ movement

It is instructive to examine the injunctions, and to see just how carefully calculated the attempt to force strikers into submission actually is. For instance, New York pickets are limited based on the number of scab workers on each site. A workplace with twenty-five strikebreakers can have only six pickets at any one time. Fifty strikebreakers can be met by ten pickets, et cetera. In Pennsylvania, all pickets are limited to six strikers, who must be fifteen feet from the door. More than this, “videotaping, photographing, or recording in any manner, the likeness of any individual at any worksite of any Verizon employee or contractor performing company work” is illegal. Neither the CWA nor the IBEW have raised a finger to dispute this injunctions, and have instructed strikers to follow them to the letter.

Last Friday, the FBI announced that it is investigating a “national security” issue, relating to possible “sabotage” by Verizon workers. Special Agent Bryan Travers declared that: “Because critical infrastructure has been affected, namely the telecommunications of both a hospital and a police department, the FBI is looking into this matter from a security standpoint as part of our security efforts leading up to the 9/11 anniversary.”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Good Job Is Hard to Find

Japan's Filipino wartime sex slaves tell their story in documentary

Imagine a world without capitalism. No wars, no "comfort women," no poverty.

Taser’s youngest victim dies from cop attack

Read more

Kazakh Oil Workers Union Activist’s Daughter Found Dead

Capital's global war on the working class.

Goldman's Blankfein Has Nothing to Fear

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Goldman Sachs(GS) stock fell on reports CEO Lloyd Blankfein had hired a top securities-crime defense lawyer by the name of Reid Weingarten. That appeared to indicate that Blankfein is worried he may have some personal exposure -- perhaps even criminal liability -- for his bank's misdeeds in and around the financial crisis.

Bullfeathers. The sober reality is that Blankfein hasn't a thing to fear, at least not from President Barack Obama's Justice Department.


Billions Meant for Struggling Homeowners May Pay Down Deficit Instead

With housing prices dropping sharply, and foreclosure filings against more than 1 million properties in the first half of this year, the Obama administration is scrambling for ways to help homeowners.

One place they won't be looking: an estimated $30 billion from the bailout that was slated to help homeowners but is likely to remain unspent.

Instead, Congress has mandated that the leftover money be used to pay down the debt.

Of the $45.6 billion in Trouble Asset Relief Program funds meant to aid homeowners, the most recent numbers available show that only about $2 billion has actually gone out the door.

And you better moan like you like it too.

Bahrain sacks 2,500 state workers

About 2,500 state workers in Bahrain have been dismissed from their jobs for taking part in nation-wide protests against the ruling of Al-Khalifa dynasty. ..

The Presidential Distorian, Doug Wead

Admittedly Wead's lies are not particularly important but this video is useful as it does depict a distorian at his evil craft. This man is a polished, professional liar, who has been selected to tell these lies because of his smarmy, oleaginous demeanor.

Weed is a "presidential" historian, which means he knows a good deal about the life and ideas of Thomas Jefferson. Yet he says a few things which anybody who knows anything about Jefferson would know were untrue.

He says that Jefferson lives and he is Ron Paul. As the Weed knows, there are striking differences between the two men.

Paul is an anarcho-capitalist, or Libertarian as they have taken to calling themselves. He believes that government should stay out of the economy. Jefferson did not. In fact one of his acts as president which was and still is roundly criticized by the free-marketeers like Paul was his Embargo Act of 1807. The details needn't concern us here, but the Act forbade American businesses from participating in international trade. Jefferson said that the interests of the nation as a whole trumped the rights businesses. In this moment and in others, Jefferson made it clear that government had the authority and duty to regulate commerce. Clearly this is an area of major disagreement with Ron Paul, as Wead well knows.

Jefferson also believed that government should act in such a way as to steer business in such a way as to create income equality, in other words wealth redistribution. Paul and the Libertarians strongly oppose this idea. One might say it is one of their core principles.

Wead also links Paul to Jefferson by saying that the latter too was opposed to the Fed. This is true but Jefferson believed that the tasks performed by the central bank should be done by government. While Paul occasionally refers obliquely to the Constitution's provision which says the task of monetary policy resides with Congress, he wants to put that power directly in the private hands of the banksters. Paul wishes only to break up the Fed's monopoly and open up money creation to the market. Jefferson roared his objection to this idea. He spoke and wrote in heated opposition for decades. It was perhaps the issue about which he cared most. If Jefferson were alive today, he'd be denouncing Ron Paul, not supporting him. There is no room for debate here, Jefferson thought democracy couldn't survive with the nation's money supply in private hands. He said so.

Wead also says that if Jefferson were alive today he'd have his own show on Fox News.

Now that was funny. As Wead admits, Jefferson would be against all these wars we are now engaged in. Fox has supported each one rabidly. How many anti-war activists have their own show at Fox?

Fox has supported the theocratic trend in our governance. Jefferson would scream in protest.

Fox has supported teaching Intelligent Design in public schools. Jefferson predates Darwin and this controversy, but Jefferson rejected Christianity for Deism. It is inconceivable that he would have heeded the objections of theists in this matter. Jefferson was a free-thinker.

Fox supports the Patriot Act. Jefferson would have pissed on it.

There are more areas of difference between Jefferson and Fox, but why bother.

Wead says Ron Paul says you sacrifice liberty for security and you lose both. Actually this quote belongs to Ben Franklin, and goes more like this: He who would surrender liberty for security will have, and deserves, neither. Wead gets the quote wrong and attributes it to the wrong person.

Now, I ask you, do you think this guy is as incompetent as all this, that he actually believes what he says, or is he a liar? You decide. In either case, anything this "distinguished" historian says must be taken with a grain of salt.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

South Africa

SA is a rich nation. It's agricultural resources are first rate, and it has a mineral wealth which is the envy of the world. Yet its working class lives in abominable circumstances.

What has happened to the ANC?

Decision to end Verizon strike baffled many members, supporters

I've been trying to take the most positive view of the suspension of the Verizon strike, but as Gonzalez writes, it is puzzling that they got nothing taken off the table. It certainly looks like a capitulation. Time will tell, but at the moment it seems like an epic betrayal by the unions of its members. This strike had broad support not only among it rank-and-file, but in the working class worldwide. The unions were operating from a position of great strength, yet...

I hope I'm wrong.

Electricians protest against 35 percent pay cut

Raw, naked power. A two-handed money grab by the richest people on Earth. An undisguised declaration of worldwide class war. They do not care what a 35pc pay cut is going to do to these families. They only care about money, and how much of it they can steal.

Los Mineros and Steelworkers ‘Enhance’ Solidarity, Strategic Alliance

A most encouraging development! These borders are not for your protection, they are the prison walls of global solidarity. Citizenship isn't an entitlement, it's a branding iron. If we are ever to have peace and justice it will require a linking of hands across frontiers. As long as dissent is penned up within national boundaries there will always be two classes of people: those who own, and those who are owned.

Trouble In Paradise: National Park and Forest Employees Fight Power with Passion

Nice piece.

Cops and Firefighters: The Public Sector’s New Untouchable Upper Class?

The ploy of excluding the police from cuts is an old one. The state needs the police to keep the rest of us in our place. If they cut the cops, the latter might side with the people during a mass labor uprising and that will be the end for capital.

Worth a read.

Frustrated Chicago Teachers Union Grapples With Restrictive Strike Rights

Talks were stalled over the terms of a 4-percent cost of living increase that was rescinded in June by the Chicago Board of Education due to budget concerns. Officials said it would save $100 million from the $712 million deficit at the time. The board, selected by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, approved six-figure salaries for five Chicago Public Schools executives a week later, which drew protests from union members.

The union pulled out of negotiations this week after school officials rejected an offer of a 2-percent increase in addition to other proposals.

Following the stalemate, Chicago Public School system officials on Tuesday went ahead and announced unilateral plans for a longer school day for the 2012-13 year, including a possible raise if teachers agreed to begin the longer hours this year. CPS officials' ability to act unilaterally—i.e. without union agreement—stems from an education reform law signed in May by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn. The plan would extend the school day for an extra 90 minutes and an additional two weeks. Emanuel advocated extended school hours and days on the campaign trail, criticizing the country’s third largest education system for having one of the shortest school days compared to other metropolitan areas.

NYT’s Norcera Gets Boeing Case Wrong

Nocera starts by claiming that he is “mildly obsessed” over the issue. I’d suggest that he make the obsession stronger, because it’s apparent that he hasn’t taken the time to read the complaint, read the NLRB’s statements on the complaint, talk to anyone who knows the law, or even spent five minutes on the NLRB website to determine its basic structure and function.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Poster O' The Day, 23 August

Sacco and Vanzetti: Two Good Mens A Long Time Gone

On this day in 1927 two innocent men were executed by the state of Massachusetts because they were anarchists. Nothing new here, the US government had been killing anarchists and other radicals for decades by this point. But this case was different in that it attracted global attention, and almost caused a revolution in Italy.

The case was also notable in that the trial was a scandal. The judge had been overheard to say that he was going to "get those anarchist bastards," and he did.

Not that this wasn't enough to make this case noteworthy, but the grace and dignity with which the condemned men faced the ordeal, and the beautiful things they said and wrote about it, also served to focus public scrutiny upon the infamy.

There's no need to rehash the details. It would be a familiar saga of speaking truth to power and the lethal consequences which often pertain.

Power determined to destroy these two brave men, and did, but the two revolutionaries still inspire modern activists the world around, myself included. I have a lot in common with the two men, including having lived a good deal of my life in Massachusetts. I was present when then Governor Mike Dukakis granted them a posthumous pardon. He delivered quite a moving speech, rare in its candor, particularly for a politician with great ambition.

Are they still relevant? As long as justice is they will be. Their work is unfinished. There's an Italian saying with which I'm sure they would have agreed: "He who lives by hope, dies in despair." In other words, you must do something before it's too late. They devoted their lives to acting in the interests of justice and humanity. I will not want to draw another breath should the day come when such things are no longer relevant.

So to Nando and Bartolo, on the occasion of the 84th anniversary of their executions, I say mille grazie.[1]

[1] Paul Avrich's book on the two men is the only one worth reading.

Keiser Report: Bankers & Aliens

The first five minutes of this are a bit tiresome, but the rest is pretty interesting, not just satire but lots of info' too.

Financial Meltdown: The Case Against the Ratings Agencies

Another great piece from Michael Hudson.

GAO Audit of Federal Reserve No Bid Contracts Fails to Finger Geithner, Baxter, Dimon, Immelt and Friedman in Suspicious BlackRock Contract

Remember the Audit the Fed bill that was supposed to bring the financial system to its knees if Congress dared pass it? Remember the toothless, watered down version that finally made it into Dodd-Frank and at the time was itself controversial?

Pursuant to direction under Dodd-Frank, the Government Accountability Office today released a 266 page report detailing its findings after a review of the numerous emergency programs instituted by the Federal Reserve from 2008 to 2010. Among the many findings was that the bulk of over half billion dollars in service contracts were awarded without bid. While the report is a step in the right direction, its failure to mention the most suspicious contract (about which we know only because of Congressionally subpoenaed email records of the New York Fed), suggests the review was either facile or compromised. In other words, we cannot rely on even the simplest of half measures when it comes to providing Fed accountability.

And here's a follow-up piece.

Israel's War On Gaza

Follow this link to photos. They are gruesome.

Pander Alert: The South Africa Front

South Africa's Zuma says NATO campaign cost lives in Libya

Johannesburg - Lives could have been saved in Libya had NATO allowed the African Union (AU) to take the lead in the troubled country, South African President Jacob Zuma said Tuesday.
'Those who have the power to bomb other countries have undermined the AU's efforts and initiatives to handle the situation in Libya,' said Zuma, after talks with the visiting president of Ghana, John Atta Mills.
'We could have avoided a lot of loss of life in Libya,' Zuma was quoted as saying by the SAPA news agency.

Here posits himself as anti-Western when in fact they own him. He has become quite unpopular with his people because of it and is currently conducting a reign of terror to suppress the ever-growing opposition to him and his policies. The comments above were made for public consumption, he doesn't mean a word of it. He's facing protest marches, strikes, and calls for revolution, and he's doing everything he can to stave it off.

Wikiganda Alert: Wiki war: 3500 Unpublished Leaks Destroyed Forever as Assange Hits Out

This is political theater folks. Wikileaks is an American intelligence operation and has been from day one. The former [?] White supremacist Assange was behind the bogus climategate e-mails, has made a "deal" with Israel not to release any info' harmful to its interests, and his releases always seem to cleave nicely with US foreign policy.

Do you believe that the US government cannot prevent the publication of its documents on a specific website when the release is announced weeks in advance? If so, see a doctor. I hate to break the news, as I know this charlatan is a hero to many, but Wiki is a psy-op. Get over it.

In order to protect its agent and operation, it's concocted this smokescreen about Assange's rival being responsible for the destruction of the BofA documents (if Wiki ever had them in the first place). There is not a word of truth in the following article.

And in case we have forgotten, Assange took credit for the Tunisian Revolution even though his leak exposing Ben Ali's corruption was released two days after he had fled the country.

In a moment of obscene megalomania, he also took credit for the Egyptian Revolution. An event over which he exerted no influence. Follow the link to the execrable video.

Help Fight Discrimination Against the Unemployed


Long-Awaited Wikileaks Secret Bank Of America Files Have Been Destroyed

Agent Assange doing his duty.

Plutocracy 101

The Banksters And US Servicemen

JFK once said that there are three things for which this country should rightly be ashamed: the treatment of the indigenous American, The African American, and the immigrant American. He missed one: the American servicemen.

This ugly history goes back to the Revolution, and continues to this day. After every conflict, every one, this country has broken its promises to its warriors, denied them benefits, and occasionally refused to pay them. On one particularly despicable occasion, it has even opened fire on them. This latest attack upon them is nothing new.

Just for the record, I am not buying into the Elizabeth Warren charade. A naive few believe that she is the anti-bankster messiah who will deliver America from plutocracy. They should take a closer look.

Every election cycle the oligarchy creates a countercandidate (last time it was Obama) to soak up all the angst and be the repository for those who aspire to change. If there is enough discontent the "people's choice" gets swept into office by public acclaim. Slowly but surely the public then comes to realize that their champion was no reformer at all. Warren is Wall Street through and through, she is this year's model.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Obummer Working For The Man

Nothing our prez won't do for capital. I'm trying to figure out what kind of deal he's swung for that "consultation" gig reward he's going to get from the Rothschilds or Rockefellers or whoever after he leaves office in five years. After all he's done for them, I can imagine they are going to make him a very rich man indeed: all the wars the banks could hope for, no regulatory hurdles thrown in their path, zealous protection from prosecution from Obummer's DoJ, and, lest we forget, a no-limits, 24/7, drive-through, discount window at the Fed. Who could ask for anything more?

Criminality At The Top: US Stealing Libya's Money.

Thierry Meyssan and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya under death threat in Tripoli?

The following came to me via the newsletter of the Voltaire Network website, which Meyssan edits. He has been a tireless debunker of government lies and was the first to see through the 757-demolished-the-Pentagon charade.

If the below is true, it says a good deal about how much the US government fears "wacko conspiracy theorists."

Thierry Meyssan and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya under death threat in Tripoli
In Tripoli, the bombings resumed around 10:20 this morning. They are directed against certain objectives, under relentless NATO pounding.
The fighting also resumed around the Rixos Hotel where certain Libyan leaders and foreign journalists are still entrenched.
From the Rixos, the order was given by so-called "journalists" from the United States (*) to bring down Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Thierry Meyssan.
Three states have offered diplomatic protection to the Voltaire Network team.
However, trapped in the city, they have no way of reaching the respective embassies.
(*) These individuals have been identified and their names will be released in due course.

Here's more from the website.

Warren Buffet's Odisha (aka Orissa) Land Grab Update, 22 August

Face to Face: A Talk With Anti POSCO PPSS Leader Abhay Sahoo

(Musab Iqbal, Chief Editor of newzfirst traveled to very heart of resistance in Odisha to understand the overlapping phenomena of resistance and development. He interviewed the leader of anti POSCO PPSS Abhay Sahoo, a man who architected this movement from ground zero and lead it through its all tough time. Lived a period in underground, jailed for months and now confined to a small home of PPSS worker in Jagdishpur village far from his native village to shape and lead the movement.)

Tar Sands Action: Bill McKibben's Statement from Jail

Was plane carrying UN Secretary General shot down in 1961?

Well I guess the wacko conspiracy theorists were right after all.

In addition to the list of his enemies presented in the article, he had also run afoul of the Israelis, whose occupation of Palestine he likened to the imperialist powers colonization of Africa.

Once again, yesterday's conspiracy theory becomes today's conspiracy fact.

Rape Case Against Strauss-Kahn Dismissed by State Prosecutors

The farce is officially over. They wanted him out at the IMF and didn't have the votes to do it, so they recruited/blackmailed/terrorized an immigrant into claiming rape.

At the top of the economic food chain, where the oligarchs live, there is complete lawlessness. They own this planet, and they act like it.

CIA Disputes Secrecy Oaths in Drug Experimentation Case

"This record makes clear that plaintiffs have never seriously pursued their 'secrecy oath' claim against the CIA," Justice Department attorney Kimberly Herb wrote for the CIA. "Due to the absence of allegations concerning the CIA with regard to this sole remaining claim and plaintiffs' own admissions that they do not have specific facts to support it, the CIA has repeatedly asked plaintiffs to voluntarily withdraw the claim."

The desperation with which the CIA is fighting its disclosure obligations is a measure of how bad Project Paperclip really was.

Anyone still laboring under the delusion that the US government operates on behalf of the American people, or even feels some responsibility toward us, will find liberation in researching the history of American intelligence. It is not a pretty story.

Fed Secretly Loaned $1.2 Trillion in Public Money to Wall St. Firms: report

It's called plutocracy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tunisian & Egyptian Women Place Hope in their Revolutions

Nice piece.

Photo O' the Day, 21 August

From the protests in Chile. "We struggle/fight for the students, we study for the struggle."

Poster O' The Day, 21 August

Being Elected To Congress Continues To Be A Pretty Good Wealth Maximization Strategy

Hucksterism Alert: Separating Fact from Fantasy in Bolivia (Book Review of From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia, by Jeffrey Webber)

I do not know who Fuentes is so I will not accuse him of being one of Morales' palace historians, he may just be a run-of-the-mill, true-believer apologist, but his critique seems more than a bit tendentious.

I've read Webber's book and I agree with his assessment of Morales. Chavez, Correa, and the Bolivian have been in power for some time now and each is experiencing a decline in support due to their inability to deliver on the Bolivarian agenda. Morales has stopped peasants from taking over large estates, and prevented workers from seizing factories and mines. Morales whines that if these expropriations occur a coup will result and Bolivia will be delivered into the hands of capital. Webber demolishes these arguments in his book.

I'm not going to bother to deconstruct Fuentes' entire piece (it's not worth it), but one contention was so preposterous as to demand some attention. He says Bolivia isn't ready for revolution because of the absence of a large proletariat. Revolutions have been made with a much smaller industrial labor force than Bolivia enjoys. What proletariat it does have is highly class conscious, and they are joined by a large, broadly radicalized, revolutionary peasantry. The laboring classes of Bolivia have ousted a succession of rightist governments, established a people's assembly, and are by far the country's most important political faction. They are also, lest we forget, the same impressive folks who treated us to one of history's great uprisings in Cochabamba. It is just absurd to say the conditions for socialism do not exist in Bolivia. In fact Bolivians are clamoring for radical change, and it is precisely these revolutionaries who put Morales in power, and these are the same people who now criticize him.

Anyway, here's the article. It should have a warning label on it like a pack of cigarettes.

"Goldman Sachs Is Far Too Important For Criminal Charges, Could Threaten U.S. Financial System": Brad Hintz

Not honor but solidarity among thieves, Wall Street circles the wagons around Goldman Sachs.

PM Cameron History Of Vandalism Update

So, Boris, rioters make you angry. What about your Bullingdon pal?

When a member of Oxford's notorious Bullingdon Club hurled a pot plant through a restaurant window, he was maintaining a tradition going back generations. It was what Evelyn Waugh called "the sound of the English county families baying for broken glass".

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, the Chancellor, George Osborne, and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, were some of the best-known members of the club – an elite dining society notorious for its drunken excesses. It has a tradition of "omerta", a code of silence, among its members.

Nothin Like The Face Of A Kid Slaving In A Cocoa Grove Update, 21 August

Hershey Guest Worker Scandal Result of Lax Govt. Oversight: Immigration Expert

Seattle Anarchist Book Fair Update

We need a bigger venue.

Great fair. It wasn't just the large turnout that was so heartening, but the throngs of young people, particularly women, that I found encouraging. The future is in good hands.

It's a shame the weather didn't cooperate. It was sweltering hot and a goodly number were sweaty and sticky. I observed a few anarchists raising their arms to afford comrades some comparative stink analysis.

I think it would be an outstanding idea if the tables pooled their donations. Many would like to contribute to each group but don't have enough money.

And that coffee tasted as though it came from the composter.

But what a great fair! What an inspiration--lots of bright, young people determined to turn this world into one fit for human habitation. Their militant optimism made me want to live forever.

Good books, bad libations, great company, radical conversation, endless comradery, unabashed mutual affection and armpit sniffing, what more could one hope for.

$360M lost to insurgents, criminals in Afghanistan

Without an enemy there can be no war and no war profits, and no excuse to remain. The West is in Afghanistan to protect that oil pipeline, they cannot let the Taliban disappear.

This is no mistake.

South Africa’s Municipal Workers go on Strike

South African council workers started a strike to demand an 18 percent pay increase, said Tahir Sema, a spokesman for the South African Municipal Workers’ Union.
More than 200,000 employees in the municipal and water industries will stop working today, Sema said by phone from Johannesburg. The South African Local Government Association, which represents 278 councils across the country, said yesterday it can’t afford the pay rise demanded by labor unions. South Africa’s annual inflation was 5 percent in June.
“There are no meetings with the employers scheduled today or any time soon,” Sema said. “If they come to us with a reasonable offer and are prepared to meet with us, we’re prepared to call off the strike.”
Strikes have affected South Africa’s petroleum, mining and chemical industries in the last month

[Story and quoted text from]

Wiil California Grocery Workers STRIKE again? Don’t make the same mistakes

The southern California grocery strike involving 70,000 United Food And Commercial Workers members from October 2003 to March 2004 was one of the most significant actions the U.S. labor movement took in the last twenty years.
What happened? The workers lost, betrayed by their union leaders. This defeat was devastating, setting up a spiral of attacks on the lives of people who must work to live, particularly on the minimal health benefits that a few working people still have. The old labor saw, “An injury to one just goes before an injury to all,” is already felt in teacher-union contract negotiations.
Could this have been won? Yes, it could, but not within the confines of the law, and not in the confines of the structures of the unions, not within the philosophy of the “labor movement”

UAW workers seek end to two-tier wage structure

Dozens of angry and flustered auto industry workers gathered in Detroit Saturday to call for an end to the two-tier wage structure becoming prevalent at U.S. automaker plants.
The pay inequality is causing divisiveness on the factory floor and pitting membership against each other at a time when workers need to present a unified front in fighting more concession during this year's round of contract talks, these UAW-represented workers say.
The event, organized by dissident group Auto Worker Caravan, drew about 50 attendees to St. John Baptist Church off Woodward Avenue, some from as far away as Indiana and Ohio.

From The Detroit News:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Verizon Strike Update, 20 August

Blogger's Note, 20 August

The Seattle Anarchist Book Fair 2011 has begun. It's at the Vera Project at Seattle Center, hope to see you there. Don't mind the hulking, monstrous, giant, needle-shaped cultural holocaust looming overhead, just don't look up.

Revolt in North Africa and the Middle East

This is an old piece but very much worth another look. It examines the Arab Spring from an anarchist perspective, has some great photos, and an awe-inspiring video.

In fact, here it is.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bizarre plans by allies to turn Hitler into a woman revealed in new book

Der Fuehrerweiblichmachenplan! Or, Mein Fuehrer, nicht be a girly man.

You can't make this shit up!

As I have said before in this space, we are awash in baloney. Fake history is much more common than the real thing, much more. So while acknowledging that I am giving this garbage much more attention than it deserves, let's take a closer look.

I have several points: Why would changing Hitler's sex necessarily change his political position? There is a rather large presupposition here. History is full of female heads of state who acted rurthlessly, and these were real women, not estrogenized men. Army records confirm that Hitler had only one testicle; he was effeminate; and his best friends early on in his political career were all gay. Some of his army mates tell stories of discovering Hitler and his "whore," a man named Schmiedl (or something like that), inflagrante delecto, as they say. This new business of turning him into a woman follows upon the theory that he already pretty much was one in his low-testosterone state.

The story claims that they had British spies close to Hitler who could have put the estrogen in his food. First, it wasn't until the end of the war that the Western Allies had any interest in killing Hitler. They sat out the war in Europe for years to give the Nazis a chance to topple the Bolsheviks. It was only after Stalingrad that the Western Allies condescended to engage the enemy on D-Day.

Second, if they had people so close and they wanted to neutralize him, they could certainly have come up with something better than this nonsense. Nobody is going to jeopardize an agent who is that close to the subject that they could poison him repeatedly with a plan as likely to fail as this one. There is the risk of detection and the subsequent loss of a highly infiltrated mole; and if the poisoner does manage to execute the plan, there's no guarantee that it would have the desired effect. There is zero chance that this was ever seriously contemplated.

I could go on but why bother...

Egyptians protest outside Israel embassy

Max Keiser interviews Prof. Bill Black - The man who sent 1,000 banksters to prison

Caught In the Act: BofA Tells Rick "The Hick" Perry That He Can Count On Them.

UPDATE: ZeroHedge identifies the Bank of America official offering his his company's support to Texas Governor Rick Perry's campaign as James Mahoney the Director of Public Policy for the bank.
Mahoney is a member of the board of directors of The New England Council, one of the events sponsors.
It's worth noting again that Perry threatened Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and said any attempt by the Fed to print more money would be "almost...treasonous."

Read more:

In the meantime, BofA is laying off thousands of its workers.

BofA layoffs are the latest as an industry shrinks

Wall Street firms donated $11.2 million to members of debt ‘super committee’

In total, the twelve members appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction got nearly $64.5 million from special interests groups over the past decade, with legal firms donating about $31.5 million and Wall Street firms donating about $11.2 million.

Of that $11.2 million, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase donated approximately $2 million combined.

It'd called plutocracy. THEY OWN YOU!

Israel tent protests called off after Eilat attacks

S&P Bogus Downgrade Update, 19 August

S&P and the Bilderbergers: All Part of the Plan?

Many commentators questioned the validity of the downgrade that threatened to collapse the market. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said in a statement:

"The Treasury Department revealed that S&P’s decision was initially based on a $2 trillion error in accounting. However, even after this enormous error was corrected, S&P went ahead with the downgrade. This suggests that S&P had made the decision to downgrade independent of the evidence. [Emphasis added.]

Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times, was also skeptical, stating:

[E]verything I’ve heard about S&P’s demands suggests that it’s talking nonsense about the US fiscal situation. The agency has suggested that the downgrade depended on the size of agreed deficit reduction over the next decade, with $4 trillion apparently the magic number. Yet US solvency depends hardly at all on what happens in the near or even medium term: an extra trillion in debt adds only a fraction of a percent of GDP to future interest costs . . . .

I'm not sure Brown proves her basic thesis, but the analysis of the downgrade is spot on.

Yemen's opposition forms national council

"Government is the entertainment wing of the military-industrial complex."[1]

Yemen's President Saleh responded to the news by saying that the opposition were "leftovers of Marxists, the Taliban and the imamate [Yemen's ousted monarchist rulers]".

That's quite a coalition. Politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows.

[1] Frank Zappa

Journaganda Alert: The Somali Pirates

I post this video for two reasons:

1, It contains some stunning statistics about life in Somalia.

2, It's a fine example of media propaganda.

For decades now the French and other nations who produce nuclear waste have been dumping it in the sea off the coast of Somalia. This not only has led to stunning child mortality, among other lethal medical problems, it has also destroyed the fishing grounds. The people now allegedly committing acts of piracy are the fisherfolk who took to arms to stop the dumping of nuclear waste in their waters. Some of their number may (or may not) have committed acts of piracy, but these were decent, peaceful, law-abiding people until their livelihoods were destroyed. They now patrol their coasts in paramilitary fashion because they must.

Bahadur claims to have lived amongst the pirates, yet he says nothing about their principal grievance. Perhaps he deals with it in his book, but he is asked what people don't know about the pirates, and he says nary a word about the dumping.

Even more absurdly, he insists that the piracy is not the result of poverty. That's a damn lie, and he knows it. This interview (and book presumably) is for propaganda purposes. Perhaps Africom has decided to land troops in Somalia and this is part of the initial PR work to gain public support for yet another invasion and occupation, I don't know, but clearly the author has no intention of telling the truth. One can only speculate as to what his motives might be...

Anyway, for those of you who are foolish enough to believe the news broadcasters are trying to tell you the truth, take a gander at this psy-op.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Egyptian X-file : And I though that Mowafi was Qaddafi’s man in Egypt !!

This is a little difficult to follow if you don't know the people involved, and Zeinobia's English, is she will forgive me, is not always easily decrypted, but if what she writes is true, then there has been a much more amiable relationship between Gaddafi and Mubarak than was thought. Publicly at least, the Libyan had denounced Mubarak as a puppet of the West.

Poster O' The Day, 18 August

Verizon Update 18 August: Company Threatens Strikers' Health Benefits

Verizon threatens strikers with health care cutoff

Verizon told its striking workers yesterday that it will halt their health insurance and all medical, vision and dental benefits if they remain out on strike after August 31. Union leaders accused the company of lining up with right-wing extremists out to eliminate workers' rights.

It really has been a long time since we've seen a company as unapologetically aggressive as Verizon. The stars are all aligned in their favor: The nebish in the Oval Office might defend the workers publicly, but Verizon knows that in the end Obama always gives Wall Street whatever it wants; and the generally poor state of the economy makes lengthy strikes a real hardship for the workers and unions involved. The company holds all the cards, and they are playing them.

It is extremely unlikely that the striking workers will ever lose their health benefits, even if the dispute goes the company's way. Verizon knows it but the fear this threat will instill in the strikers, particularly those with diseased or disabled children who need expensive care, might force a better settlement for them. This is an ugly tactic, but it is a corporation after all, not a philanthropic organization.

Here's a good report from Juan Gonzalez

The workers are bringing the strike home to the boss-literally.

Verizon workers plan demonstration at CEO’s home

Striking Verizon workers have said they’re planning a demonstration at the home of Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams on Thursday night.

The New Jersey branch of the Communications Workers America are planning a candlelight vigil outside the executive’s home in Mendham, N.J., to mourn the “death of good, middle class jobs in New Jersey,” according to the union’s Web site.

The strike is having something of an adverse effect on the company as there was a groundswell of resistance in New York to a deal its school system made with Verizon.

School Panel, Over Protests, Backs a Deal With Verizon

The Panel for Educational Policy on Wednesday approved a $120 million contract with a Verizon subsidiary to provide phone and Internet services for two years at city schools, despite calls for postponing the vote and boisterous protests over Verizon’s possible role in federal theft charges against an Education Department consultant.

Later in the same article.

Complaints came from people inside and outside of the school, before and during the meeting, injecting the current strike by Verizon’s landline workers into the controversy. Mr. Liu, whose office registered the contract in May, said that a yes vote on the contract would essentially validate the company’s demands for cuts to workers’ health and benefit funds.

In a letter sent to the panel’s members on Tuesday, James J. Gerace, president of Verizon’s New York region, accused the Communication Workers of America, which represents many of the striking employees, of fomenting a campaign against the contract by disseminating what he called “patently false” information about Verizon’s role in the theft charges.

This is a serious accusation on Verizon's part, one which is legally actionable if untrue. Something I'm sure the union is considering.

Still later.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people, most of them wearing red, the color of shirts that Verizon workers are wearing on picket lines, packed the school’s auditorium, some holding signs that read, “While Verizon profits, kids and workers lose.”

In April, federal authorities arrested Willard Lanham, a former technology consultant for the Education Department, on charges that he stole $3.6 million over six years. He is accused of using contractors for Verizon, as well as I.B.M., to hide the scheme. A report by Richard J. Condon, the special investigator for the city’s schools, accused Verizon and I.B.M. of facilitating the fraud by keeping silent.

And, as usual, the "liberal" bourgeois press are doing their disingenuous best to help Verizon swindle its employees, with the New York Crimes and the Washington Host leading the way.

Customers Feel Ripples of the Verizon Strike

As a strike by 45,000 Verizon workers approaches the two-week mark, the company’s customers are beginning to feel the impact — and are complaining about it.

Verizon acknowledges “minor” disruptions since the strike began on Aug. 7. But some customers of its landline telephone, Internet and cable television service are reporting significant delays getting current lines repaired and new ones installed.

I guess Verizon's workers should submit to having their standard of living slashed rather than inconvenience Verizon's customers. And this is assuming that the company or a sympathetic party isn't responsible for the "significant delays."

Verizon customers see outages as worker strike continues

As negotiations over a strike by 45,000 Verizon workers continued to sour, several thousand Washington-area customers experienced service outages caused by what the company called acts of sabotage.

Verizon reported 28 incidents of cut cables and damaged terminals in the District and Maryland since the strike began Sunday, out of more than 100 similiar incidents along the East Coast. Most of the vandalism has taken place in New Jersey and New York, Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell said Friday.

Whose acts of sabotage?

Meanwhile, thing just keep getting better for the cash-rich telecom giant.

Verizon’s got half the country covered with LTE

Verizon is turning on its LTE network in 15 cities and expanding 4G coverage in 10 cities, bringing more than half the U.S. population under its next-generation wireless network on Thursday. Eight months after its initial launch, Verizon’s LTE network now covers 160 million people in 117 cities.

The expansion keeps Verizon well ahead of AT&T, which is preparing to turn on its LTE network and just announced two new LTE devices that will have to settle for HSPA+ until true 4G comes online. AT&T has plans to offer LTE service in five markets this summer, but it has not yet announced a launch date for its new network. Verizon expects to have 185 million consumers covered by the end of this year.

And here's the EPS chart.

Verizon Communications EPS Growth Stock Chart

Verizon Sees Revenue and EPS Growth

Verizon Communications Inc. has positioned itself to "kick into a higher gear as we go forward," Lowell McAdam, Verizon president and chief operating officer, told investors and analysts at a conference today. The conference included a discussion of the company's 2010 results and a strategic and financial overview of 2011 and beyond.

McAdam said: "Verizon's superior asset base gives us a solid foothold in growth markets for broadband, wireless data, video and cloud services - businesses that are gaining scale and momentum, as we saw in the second half of 2010. Verizon has an unmatched strategic position in the growth markets of the future. Our focus is on leveraging these superior assets to deliver superior value to customers and investors."

McAdam described a transformational change in Verizon's revenue and growth profile. Over the past several years, he noted, Verizon has invested in next-generation broadband technologies such as FiOS and wireless LTE; it has acquired assets such as Alltel and MCI to extend its reach in global markets and add scale; and it has divested lower-growth, non-strategic assets. As a result, 72 percent of Verizon's total revenues in 2010 were generated by wireless, FiOS and strategic business services, compared with 48 percent in 2006.

Earlier today, the company reported 2010 total operating revenues of $106.6 billion. Excluding results from assets that have since been divested, 2010 revenues were $104.4 billion, or a 1.9 percent increase from 2009 revenues of $102.5 billion on a comparable basis (non-GAAP).

The raw hand of power is reaching out from Wall Street and taking whatever it can pry from our hands. They have the Congress, the White House, the judiciary, the think tanks, and the press, we only have each other. Please consider visiting the CWA website and seeing what you can do. Think of how emboldened capital will be if a company earning gaudy profits as Verizon is can force concessions from unions as strong as the IBEW and the CWA. If you work for a living, whether a union member or not, the outcome of this struggle will have an impact on your life. Capital is winning its endless war on labor, this trend must be reversed, for all our sakes.

Wells Fargo's $3 Debit Card Charge: A Sign of More Bank Fees to Come?

A new report emerged Tuesday that Wells Fargo (WFC) will begin charging some customers $3 every month to use their debit card -- further indication that banks are putting on the squeeze as new swipe-card regulations are set to take effect.

Wells Fargo already sent letters to customers in Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington that the fees will begin Oct. 14, according to That's just two weeks after Federal Reserve-mandated rules slash the amount banks can charge retailers for every debit card purchase. Regulators reduced the maximum bank take on each transaction from 44 cents to 24 cents.

These new regs benefit retailers and hurt bank depositors. (What a surprise!) This is aggressive class war being directed at you.

Quelle Surprise! Standard & Poor’s Execs Diddled in Mortgage Bond Ratings (Updated)

There you have it. Thw whole mortgage bond regime that brought the economy down was made possible by the deliberate misrating of bonds. This was a criminal conspiracy from the get-go.

Foreclosuregate Update: MERS Case Filed With Supreme Court

Before readers get worried by virtue of the headline that the Supreme Court will use its magic legal wand to make the dubious MERS mortgage registry system viable, consider the following:

1. The Supreme Court hears only a very small portion of the cases filed with it, and is less likely to take one with these demographics (filed by a private party, and an appeal out of a state court system, as opposed to Federal court). This case, Gomes v. Countywide, was decided against the plaintiff in lower and appellate court and the California state supreme court declined to hear it

2. If MERS or the various servicers who have had foreclosures overturned based on challenges to MERS thought they’d get a sympathetic hearing at the Supreme Court, they probably would have filed some time ago. MERS have apparently been settling cases rather than pursue ones where it though the judge would issue an unfavorable precedent

3. The case in question, from what the experts I consulted with and I can tell, is not the sort the Supreme Court would intervene in based on the issue raised, which is due process (14th Amendment). But none of us have seen the underlying lower and appellate court cases, and the summaries we’ve seen are unusually unclear as to what the legal argument is

US Airways Can Proceed With Pilot-Slowdown Suit Against Union, Judge Says

Capital is getting really aggressive these days.

Quote O' The Day, 18 August

Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed...Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

Abe Lincoln

Climategategate Update

Remember climategate? Remember the media blitz about leaked e-mails suggesting that the data behind global warming was bogus? Remember how right-wing extremists and corporate interests (if you will pardon the redundancy) roared about "leftist, anti-business agenda"? Remember how these e-mails were leaked to a then little-known whistle-blower named Julian Assange? Remember how this cause was championed by an infamous "eccentric" in Britain with deep ties to that country's intelligence community? If so then you will remember Lord Monckton.

Here's a piece which you should read if for no other reason than it's amusing. Beyond that this is a fine example of how the corporate/intelligence/media complex exculpates itself from its crimes against humanity. All the blame for the obviously deceitful news then being broadcast is now being placed on the shoulders of the messenger. It was all that crazy Lord Monckie, don't you know...

Shmidle Osama Bin Laden Death Hoax Update, 18 August

Great deconstruction from Russ Baker. It's long but worth the effort. A must read for those of you who believe what they read in the bourgeois press.

Gold Rushes, Trade Agreements, and How Companies Sue Countries

Interesting piece about how NAFTA works.

Video survey: Racism rampant among Israeli youth

Good video, better article.

Propaganda Alert: Chavez Blows Some More Hot Air

Venezuela Plans to Move Reserve Funds

CARACAS—Venezuela plans to transfer billions of dollars in cash reserves from abroad to banks in Russia, China and Brazil and tons of gold from European banks to its central bank vaults, according to documents reviewed Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal.

The planned moves would include transferring $6.3 billion in cash reserves, most of which Venezuela now keeps in banks such as the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, and Barclays Bank in London to unnamed Russian, Chinese and Brazilian banks, one document said.

Venezuela also plans to move 211 tons of gold it keeps abroad and values at ...

The question is what the hell has Chavez "the socialist" been doing keeping Venezuela's reserves in the banksters' banks? And these banks into which he is depositing the reserves, who owns them? As they are "unnamed" it is impossible to say, but the same shysters who own the BIS and Barclay's also own banks in Russia, China, and Brazil, this may be no move at all. And given that they go unnamed...

Chavez Preparing Government Takeover of Venezuela’s Gold Mining Industry

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered his government to repatriate $11 billion in gold held in banks abroad to safeguard the country from the economic crisis and said he’ll nationalize the local gold industry.
Venezuela has about 211 tons of its 365 tons of gold reserves held abroad at institutions including the Bank of England, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Barclays Plc (BARC), Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) and the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), according to a government document.
“We’ve held 99 tons of gold at the Bank of England since 1980. I agree with bringing that home,” Chavez said today on state television. “It’s a healthy decision.”

Hugo banking with the Rothschilds.

So this makes two Chavez is da Man stories hitting Wall Street's favorite press in one day. Something's up, but whatever it is it isn't socialism. Time will tell.

Those Huge Demonstrations In Syria--News Is Marketing

You really should read this.

We know for a while that the protests in Syria are far smaller than reported:

That same night on July 15, I received news feeds from the AFP announcing a million protestors all over Syria, of which 500,000 in Hama alone.
In Hama however, they could not have been more than 10,000.

This ‘information’ was even more absurd due to the fact that the city of Hama counts only 370,000 inhabitants.
So what sources does AgenceFrancePresse (AFP) cite?

The same which crops up systematically throughout the media and has now become a monopoly in its own right, regarding the Syrian protests: the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Behind this superficial veneer of respectability and professionalism, hides a political organisation based in London, its president none other than Rami Abdel Raman, a man who has consistently sided against the Baath regime, who is loosely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Therefore, for many months now, the Western media have diffused an edited reality, corrected by a single source which nobody has deemed it necessary, it seems, to question.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cartoon O' The Day, 17 August

The Wit And Wisdom Of Michelle Bachman

Are you ready for the revolution now?

Boeing Forced to Turn Over Docs in NLRB Case

Last Friday, union officials claimed a victory when a judge presiding over the National Labor Relation Board's Boeing case ruled that the company must turn over documents related to the cost of producing planes at the unionized facility in Washington state versus the nonunion facility in South Carolina.

The case centers on whether Boeing transferred production to the South Carolina site because Machinists union workers went on strike in Washington. (The company says the shift was made for financial reasons.)

Postal Workers to USPS: Don’t Shred Our Contract

The U.S. Postal Service’s plans to cut more than 220,000 jobs—that's right, nearly a quarter million—and break a collective bargaining agreement has its employee unions up in arms.

The financially-strapped U.S. Postal Service revealed last week that by 2015 it plans to trim its workforce by nearly one-third, close 300 processing facilities and institute its own health and retirement system to replace existing federal programs, according to several reports. About 100,000 of the jobs are expected to be eliminated through attrition.